Comedian Retires As Threat Of Hindu Extremist Violence Forces Show Cancellations
A popular Indian comedian announced his retirement from comedy after threats of violence from Hindu extremists forced cancellations of a dozen shows in just two months. Announcing his retirement on Twitter on November 28, Faruqi wrote: “Hate has won, the artist has lost, goodbye.”
The 12 shows were cancelled across the country after repeated threats of vandalism, violence, and murder. In Bangalore city, the police denied permission for his event claiming that Faruqi was a “controversial figure.”
Hindu extremists have targeted Faruqi since January, when he was jailed in Madhya Pradesh state for a joke he never made. The son of a state legislator belonging to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) complained to the police that Faruqi’s comedy show contained offensive remarks about Hindu deities, even though the show had not yet happened.
Faruqi was not granted bail until a month later, and false accusations of anti-Hindu content have continued to hound him, taking a toll on his work, safety, and mental health.
The vitriol directed at Faruqi reflects a dangerous double standard: where Hindutva trolls can openly make genocidal statements about Muslims, Muslims cannot exercise the right to free speech even in comedy shows.
In response to Faruqi’s announcement of his retirement, Hindi movie star Swara Bhasker wrote on Twitter: “It’s heartbreaking & shameful how we as a society have allowed bullying and gaslighting to become normalised. I’m sorry Munawwar!”
Bowing To Hindu Extremists, Police Ask Christians To Avoid Prayer Meetings in Karnataka
After a string of attacks by Hindu extremists on Christians in Belagavi district of Karnataka, police have issued a “friendly warning” advising Christians to stop going to prayer meetings. Rather than put effort into preventing attacks and punishing the perpetrators of such attacks, the police are instead placing the burden on vulnerable Christians to protect themselves.
“They (Hindu extremists) barge into churches, break things, attack people, but finally cases are booked against pastors accusing them of forced conversion. Many are now conducting prayer meetings on Zoom calls. We do not want to give them a chance,” Pastor Thomas Johnson said.
Christians in the area have been denied spaces to rent for worship by owners influenced by Hindutva groups. Police often show up to prayer meetings, even those held in private residences, and pastors have been called to the police station.
According to Hindutva Watch, a website, Christians groups have been told to “avoid meetings” until the Karnataka legislature’s next session concludes. The session, being held at Belagavi, is to hold discussions on a proposed anti-conversion law that the state’s chief minister announced weeks ago under pressure from Hindu extremist groups.
Muslims and Christians are especially targeted by such laws across India, which are often weaponized by Hindu extremists to attack innocent worshippers following which the police arrest these faith leaders instead of acting against the attackers.
Families Say Three Men Killed By Security Forces In Kashmir Were Killed In Cold Blood
Indian security forces have been accused of killing three men in cold blood in Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority province, and falsely claiming that they were terrorists.
On November 24, the Kashmir Zone Police tweeted that they had “neutralized 3 terrorists in Srinagar” in a gunfight, and later stated that one of the individuals “has been identified as [a] top commander of TRF.”
But protests erupted in Kashmir with angry residents accusing the police of taking the three men out of the car and shooting them dead.
While Kashmir has been under virtual military occupation for over 30 years with severe violations of human rights reported during the decades, the crackdowns escalated in August 2019 after the Modi Government unilaterally revoked the special Constitutional status of the region, incarcerating tens of thousands and shutting down internet and civilian life for months.
Since then, Kashmiris have reported wanton killings, arrests, beatings, and forced disappearences in the name of combatting terrorism.